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Practical Mental Effects

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Practical Mental Effects by Theodore Annemann (1944)

It was the follow-up to Annemann's Full Deck of Impromptu Card Tricks edited by John J. Crimmins Jr.

Annemann's Practical Mental Effects contains 193 items, mostly drawn from The Jinx with a few additions from external manuscripts. Fifty-eight of the items are by Annemann with 50 other contributors; among them are Dr. Jaks, Dai Vernon, Jacob Daley, Paul Curry and Peter Warlock.

Annemann's "The Test of the Tiber" according to research by Max Abrams, was intended as the final chapter, but was withdrawn because of potential legal problems, as both Max Holden and Philadelphia dealer Mike Kanter claimed ownership.

The material is organized into twelve chapters loosely defined by topic.

A original hardcover book with over 300 pages was sold as retail price of $6.50. Within a year, a second printing was and it has remained in print ever since.

Accolades

Bruce Elliott in The Phoenix: "the book of the year or any year."

William Larsen (Sr.) gave it the Genii Award for best book of 1944 and again in 1945.

Paul Fleming, in his book of reviews, described it as an "almost overwhelming mass of high-grade material" that "covers the field of 'mentalism' with surprising thoroughness." And "for a great many years to come, Practical Mental Effects will hold first place as the outstanding word on mental magic."

Editions

  • First edition 1944
  • 1963 Tannen edition (with some slight revisions).
  • 1983 paperback edition published by Dover as "Practical Mental Magic" (which features a portrait of Dante on the cover).

References